Milpa Grand Re-Opening
A ribbon cutting, a mariachi band, and margaritas: Milpa held a grand reopening Friday to mark the end of a substantial renovation and remodeling process.
Open since 2008, Milpa is well on its way to attaining status as a Denton staple. From the creative 100 Margarita menu to their pride in authentic Mexican food, the Landeros family has constantly adjusted to make Milpa work.
“That’s the fun part for us,” Jorge Landeros, partial owner of Milpa, said. “Once we hit the ceiling we say, ‘How can we push it higher?’”
Milpa added 800 square feet to its location. On the end farthest from the bar, in the added space, a wall reads “Denton.” Along with other cosmetic changes such as new floors, lighting, and outside seating, Landeros knows there is more to the restaurant than the way it looks physically.
“We can have the prettiest restaurant, but if we don’t have a good team, it’s hard to get anywhere,” Landeros said.
Landeros said his team does not settle. He attributes this to the Hispanic courage his parents raised the family to have. They still eat brunch with their parents every week. Everyone at Milpa has their own job and they make sure to keep business separate from family.
“We are a weird family in the sense that we really love each other and care for each other,” Landeros said. “We actually get along.”
The Landeros family moved to Denton from Zacatecas, Mexico when Jorge was five years old. When they began the restaurant, he said they knew they wanted to bring the authenticity of what they were fed at home to the stomachs of Denton. But over time, they realized the authenticity needed to be balanced with a level of creativity as well.
“[When we started] we put out a menu and as we talked to the customers we started to get our own unique identity,” Landeros said. “In Denton, the coolest businesses are the unique businesses.”
The popular 100 Margarita menu is a testament to the idea of uniqueness. Initially a vision of 100 tequilas, they saw a market in a once tiny margarita menu. With so much revenue, Edgar, Jorge’s brother, got the juices flowing on this exciting concept. Edgar also worked on Milpa’s vegan menu to cater to a larger audience in Denton.
Landeros said Denton changes fast. But Milpa is willing to adjust enough to stay true to the original idea while remaining innovative.
“You really have to get into the community, you have to talk to people,” Landeros said. “I think if you stay the same from beginning to end, it's not going to work — your first idea can’t be your best idea.”
The first three to four years were the hardest. Landeros said trying to get to the point where people knew them and were capable of consistent revenue was the most trying. Now, Friday nights see a 30- to 40-minute wait to be seated. Landeros said it’s been rewarding for all the staff who have been working so hard over the years, but it is only the beginning.
This remodel is a start to celebrating their tenth anniversary in 2018 and is part of an expansion plan and smaller concept in town this upcoming year.
“I don’t think the process of getting bigger and better will ever stop,” Landeros said. “It’s awesome and challenging and I enjoy the challenges.”
Photos by Estelle Dailey
Header image layout designed by Christopher Rodgers